Browse 1,113,000 global plant names, 65,800 detailed descriptions, and 191,400 images at Kew Gardens Plants of the World database.
Kew Gardens in London, England houses one of the largest botanical collections in the world. Known for its living collections and preserved specimens, they are bringing their extensive resources online for anyone to access. Started in March 2017, the Plants of the World Online project plans to enable users to access information on all the world’s known seed-bearing plants by 2020.
The Plants of the World Online (POWO) is Kew’s way of turning 250 years of botanical knowledge into an open and accessible online global resource. The database is user friendly and is accessible via desktop, mobile or tablet. Search results are nicely laid out with a clean interface. Search results usually return images, illustrations and/or specimens along with information such as the Latin name, common name, plant habit, varieties, appearance, fruits, uses, habitat and other data. It will also return any results that have the search term in the description.
It’s not a plant identification database, though. If you’re looking for information about plants and fungi, this is the place to go to. The database is searchable by species, genus, family name, trait, or any words that describe a plant.
Plants of the World Online aims to:
- Provide information on all the world’s known seed-bearing plants online by 2020
- Open 250-year-old archives to allow global access
- Be a resource for taxonomy, policy, conservation, management, sustainable agriculture and teaching
- Utilizes the most up-to-date taxonomy available to provide the correct Latin name and synonymy for plants
Kew’s Plants of the World Online points out that it’s a work in progress and that other resources often have more information on the flora and fungi in any given area. Many universities, botanic gardens and government agencies provide information about regional plants. If you’re looking for something specific or want to browse, Plants of the World Online is an excellent resource.
Click here to visit Plants of the World Online.